Individual Differences in Mothers' and Fathers' Marital and Coparenting Relationships.

Open Access
Author:
Broderick, Amanda Vivian
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 13, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Martha Ellen Wadsworth, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • marital adjustment
  • marital conflict
  • coparenting
  • economic strain
Abstract:
The coparenting relationship has been conceptualized as a mechanism by which the marital relationship affects child outcomes, but little is known about how aspects of fathers’ and mothers’ marital quality (i.e., adjustment and conflict), are linked to coparenting quality within families, or whether individual differences in the experience of economic strain or racial and ethnic background have implications for the strength of associations. The present study used actor-partner interdependence models to investigate specific links between marital quality and coparenting for N = 301 low-income, cohabiting coparenting couples. Actor effects were found for parents’ marital adjustment and coparenting, while partner effects were found for parents’ marital conflict and coparenting. Further, perceived economic strain did not moderate links between marital quality and coparenting, but was directly associated with marital quality. Patterns of associations between marital quality and coparenting differed for families of differing racial or ethnic composition. Findings have implications for interventions aimed at the interparental relationship as a target for ameliorating negative effects of poor marital quality.